December 17, 2004

Magnetic Bracelets

There are those who like to mock any form of medical treatment or relief from suffering that doesn't involve prescription drugs, surgery, or the direct intervention of an M.D. Well if you have osteoarthritis, guess what?

Magnetic bracelets relieve pain, and the stronger the magnet, the better it works. Possible side effects: getting sneered at by people who despise alternative therapy.

Celebrex, like Vioxx before it, massively increases the risk of heart attack while relieving your pain.

Both Celebrex and Vioxx (COX II inhibitors) were introduced because they are less likely than other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS), including the commonly used Ibuprofen, to cause spontaneous bleeding of the gastrointestinal tract. Both NSAIDS and COX II inhibitors increase the risk of damage to your liver, and combining them with alcohol is a major cause of sudden liver damage in the non-senior adult population.*

Bracelet, anyone?

* If you weren't previously aware, do not drink alcohol at all, at all, up to 24 hours after taking large or continuous doses of any painkiller. Don't drink it within the suggested window (usually 4-6 hours) recommended between doses in the instructions if you're taking a normal amount, particularly if you're using them semi-regularly. (You already knew this wasn't a good idea with prescription treatments, right?) The painkiller can remain in your system, patiently being detoxified by your hard-working liver, well after it stops providing its useful effect. To emphasize, I do refer here to over the counter painkillers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen, because drowsiness is not the worst possible result.

It's almost as bad to mix over the counter painkillers of different types, aspirin with acetaminophen, acetaminophen with ibuprofen, etc. These combinations increase both the risk of liver damage and spontaneous gastrointestinal bleeding events. (Prescription combination painkillers like Vicoprofen are chosen to avoid magnifying these types of dangerous side effects among their components, but don't mix them with other painkillers.)

Please be good to your liver. It likes you. **

** This post does not constitute medical advice, because as you probably know, I'm not a registered medical professional, licensed to dispense prescriptions, nor can I legally recommend medical treatment of any kind. Yada yada yada.

Posted by natasha at December 17, 2004 11:12 AM | Health/Medicine/Health Care | Technorati links |

I have disc and arthritis issues in my neck and I started wearing a magnetic necklace last January. My neck bothers me much less frequently and for shorter intervals.

Posted by: Scott at December 17, 2004 11:16 AM

Amen. If you ever saw someone dying from an acetaminophen overdose you would keep your consumption well below the 'recommended' maximum. You don't know if your liver is cooked until it's too late.

Posted by: serial catowner at December 17, 2004 01:08 PM

I read the Reuters article; I would take it a lot more seriously if there had been any (reported) rigor at all to the study. Like, did they control for anything? Did the people who "wore weaker or non-magnetic bracelets" know that?

It would be nice to know what is the placebo effect and what is real. This study could have shown that, but it didn't, at least according to the article. Why not?

Posted by: Frank at December 17, 2004 08:34 PM

I thought my liver was as obsolete as the appendix. I thought the human body evolved past the need of our liver. Now you tell me!

Posted by: TABS at December 17, 2004 10:45 PM

Who to believe?
Magnetic bracelet pain relief probably placebo effect

Posted by: Ron In Portland at December 18, 2004 07:54 AM

Yeah, count me as unconvinced. If a doctor could prescribe a magnetic bracelet to somebody who didn't believe in the treatment, and expect the patient to be pleasantly surprised at the pain relief they felt, I'm sure they would do that.

I'm not saying that people who believe in it won't get relief. But what they're getting relief from is their own impression of their own pain.

It's like my solution for poverty- eat less. It works for me, but may not work for everyone.

Posted by: serial catowner at December 18, 2004 09:19 AM

Well, I for one thought magnetic bracelets and necklaces were complete bs, but I wore one around my neck just to try anything, since conventional treatments did nothing. Oh, acupuncture helps, too, though. The necklace definitely worked and made a believer out of me. If it is placebo, who cares. It ain't hurting me and the necklace cost $40.

Anyone out there suffering from chronic pain should ignore the skeptics, continue traditional treatments, but should also buy magnetic jewelry and try acupuncture.

More and more doctors are suggesting these treatments, by the way. My Ortho Surg told me about acupuncture, as did my rehab doc. Another physician told me about magnets. Just because the medical community is slow on the whole, does not alternative treatment less legit.

Posted by: Scott at December 18, 2004 02:49 PM